Novels, Inspiration, Meeting Heroes – Not your typical Day at This Edinburgh PR agency

by Catriona Conway-Mortimer

Monday, June 11th, 2018

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Edinburgh PR Consultant, Catriona Conway-Mortimer, shares her recent newfound inspiration, sourced from the most peculiar of places…

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They say you should never meet your heroes…

But I’ve just met mine and I’m so glad I did.

Earlier this month I travelled through to Glasgow with our videographer, Seb, to do some filming for our client Bield.

We were heading off to meet Bill Glen – a man that has inspired me since I first spoke with him over the Christmas period.

Bill is now 97 years old and published his first ever book just last year – talk about agespiration!

After retiring from work as a plumber years back, Bill discovered his passion for storytelling and took up creative writing classes. He found so much joy in this that, at age 96, he decided to publish his first novel that kicks off with an action packed fight between South American drug barons, resulting in a bomb being left on a cruise ship. Not exactly the subject matter you’d expect for a 96 year old.

And it wasn’t long before Bill was writing his second novel – yes second – about murders that take place in a retirement home. He’s becoming a pretty prolific writer…


Edinburgh PRWilliam Glen’s latest novel follows the lives four retirement home residents who, after becoming involved with a dangerous local gangster, end up committing two murders. Those intrigued by his first gripping plot line that centered on a fight between South American drug barons, certainly won’t be disappointed with his new book.


We first got talking in December, just after he’d written his first book. I’d been told that a tenant at a Bield development had published a novel and knew it would make an excellent press release. I wasn’t expecting his story to be quite so edgy or gripping.

Unsurprisingly, over the Christmas period, the papers were hungry for an uplifting, feel good story and Bill’s newfound talent at age 96 hit all the right notes.

He became a media sensationmaking the headlines up and down the UK. Just overnight, he was suddenly an inspiration to not just me or the rest of the team at our Edinburgh PR agency, but to people across the nation.

Taking on new tasks and venturing into new fields can be daunting, and often we quite wrongly see age as an obstacle. So, it was refreshing to meet a man with no inhibitions or perception of boundaries in his many years of life.

But it’s not just Bill’s thirst and readiness to explore new interests that’s inspiring, or his unwavering optimism and positive outlook on life – it’s also how remarkably good he is for his age.

Bill is as sharp as a tack and lives his day-to-day completely unassisted. Again, this wasn’t what I was expecting when I was first introduced to him.

As a keen writer myself I like to think that there’s some truth in the theory that keeping your imagination alive and your brain well exercised with loads o’ prose is enough to keep the well engine oiled.  It certainly seems to be the case with Bill.

And Seb was pretty taken with him, too – almost as taken as the ladies at Carntyne Gardens were with having a tall Frenchman in their company for the afternoon.

I left Glasgow that day with even more of a ‘can do’ attitude and a feeling that my future years are ones meant for exploring new interests and activities that are out of my usual shtick. Who knows, maybe I’ll take up plumbing in my 80s!

Bill Glen has me looking forward to my retirement already.

Do you have a story to tell and need some help telling it? Our Edinburgh PR agency are masters at communicating your stories to the world.

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Catriona Conway-Mortimer, account executive with Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland

Catriona Conway-Mortimer

Catriona Conway-Mortimer is part of the award-winning PR team at Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

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